This may be a case of which of these manages to plod that bit quicker than his rivals. Ukrainian Star is chasing a hat-trick after beating the enigmatic Overton Lad by six lengths over C&D on Boxing Day but is 9lb higher now. Spot The Ball has won two of his three starts over fences, including over 2m6f here on debut. He shouldn't be far away while Western Whisky has the ability to figure if the fences don't get in the way again. KILVERGAN BOY usually finds at least one too good but stays well and won't mind the soft ground. He needs everything to go his way but could be worth an interest in a race that lacks strength in depth.
Ukrainian Star (IRE) 7-2fav (11-7) Made all, clear before 2 out, kept on well, won at Towcester 3m hcp chs 0-95 (5) gs in Dec beating Overton Lad (10-0) by 6l, 9 ran.
Western Whisky (FR) 16-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, hit 10th, mistake 12th, soon reminders and weakened, soon tailed off, pulled up 2 out, in a race won by Cotswold Charmer (11-8) at Bangor 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy in Dec, 8 ran.
Callerlilly 28-1 (10-9) Prominent, led 3rd, blundered and headed next, weakened after 9th, tailed off, 10th of 16, well behind Thehillofuisneach (11-6) at Uttoxeter 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Dec.
Jolly Boys Outing (IRE) 5-2fav (11-4) Held up in rear, took keen hold, hit 4th, not fluent 8th, 5th and in touch when hit 3 out, ran on flat, nearest finish, 3rd of 7, 2 1/2l behind Timpo (11-10) at Towcester 3m hcp 0-100 (5) gd in Nov.
Spot The Ball (IRE) 13-8fav (10-13) Held up in touch, chased leaders before 3 out, went 2nd before 2 out, led before last, kept on well, won at Southwell 3m cnd hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gs beating Set In Her Ways (11-3) by 8l, 13 ran.
Kilvergan Boy (IRE) 6-5fav (11-10) Tracked leader, hit 5 out and dropped to 3rd, soon driven and stayed on same pace, 3rd of 4, 17l behind Paradise Expected (10-3) at Ffos Las 2m 5f hcp chs 0-95 (5) hvy in Dec.
Hever Road (IRE) 20-1 (9-9) Chased leaders, weakening when blundered 2 out, 5th of 9, 12l behind Quetzal (11-8) at Doncaster 3m hcp ch 0-110 (4) gd.
Overton Lad 8-1 (10-0) Chased leaders, outpaced before 12th, ridden to chase winner before 2 out, kept on and no impression, 2nd of 9, 6l behind Ukrainian Star (11-7) at Towcester 3m hcp chs 0-95 (5) gs in Dec.
Huckleberry (IRE) 10-1 (9-11) Prominent, not fluent 4th, chased winner 9th until after 13th and again from 15th, no impression after 3 out, 2nd of 7, 19l behind Mortimers Cross (11-5) at Fontwell 3m 2f hcp chs 0-105 (4) sft.